Ride 'Levels' Explained
All C rides are no-drop rides. This is the ride for you if you are completely new to group riding. The pace and the setting will be friendly, and there will often be some experienced riders here to help you out and give you some pointers along the way. You will not be left on your own. Average speed for this ride is typically around 25km/h.
All B rides are no-drop rides. Every rider is responsible for making sure the slowest rider in the group is kept with the group. B1-B3 rides are faster than C but gather up after hills and sprints. B3 tends to ride two-up. B1 tends to use a rotating paceline. While B1 can be quite brisk; B rides tend to provide a friendly and social setting. At times in the summer, B rides will hold various learn-to-race games, such as 'hares and hounds', to teach group riding and racing skills. Average speed for B rides is typically 27-32km/h.
All A rides are drop rides. Don’t expect the group to wait for you if you fall behind, unless you fall behind due to a mechanical or the group being separated by a light or traffic. The A1 ride is typically a hard paced rolling paceline for those looking for a tough training ride. The ability level of this group is typically category 3, strong category 4. Race tactics including attacks and chases may occur throughout the ride, and the group is often considerably thinned by the time it reaches its end. Average speed of A1 rides is 36-42km/h over rolling terrain.
The A2 ride is typically a bit slower than A1 and typically smoother, with fewer race tactics employed. The typical ability level of this ride is category 4 with strong group riding experience. This is a drop ride, though typically this group shows more mercy on stragglers than does A1. Lead riders may slow a bit at the top of Ash Road or King George Terrace, but don’t expect them to stop and wait. Average speed of A2 rides is typically 32-37km/h over rolling terrain.
This is the ride for you if you’re completely new to group gravel riding. The pace and the setting will be friendly, and there will often be some experienced riders here to help you out and give you some pointers along the way. You will not be left on your own. Wednesday CX_1 is reserved for gravel novices/beginners and often includes skills training, where the group stops and leaders demonstrate basic off-road skills before helping riders practice. Some established gravel riders are more comfortable remaining at the CX_1 level and are welcome to stay there any day but Wednesdays. Average speed for CX_1 rides is typically around 13-16 km/h.
CX_2 to CX_4 Rides
The number of gravel rides matches demand. Some days there are only two; where numbers warrant, there can be three or four. Ride levels reflect the general speeds expected, with middle rides (e.g. CX_2 and CX_3) averaging 16-21 km/h. CX_4 varies but can be as fast as 23-25 km/h. In addition to speed, the increase in level means increased comfort and likelihood of technical terrain, such as roots, rocks, and more challenging single track. All weekday rides tend to be flatter and faster, given the lack of urban single track. Weekend rides typically feature at least a few sections of full-on mountain bike terrain and 'gnar'.